Stuart's Milk Snake
Facts about Stuart’s milk snakes. "Scientific name for Stuart's milk snake is Lampropeltis triangulum stuarti". Stuart’s milk snake are a sub species of the varicolored milk snakes found across North and South America. Fear of snakes is ophiophobia. The Stuart’s milk snake have bright bands of red, yellow, and black with a black snout topped with a little white V-shaped band. They are harmless creatures, but are often mistaken for the venomous coral snake due to their similar coloring. Stuart's milk snakes have red bands touching the black bands; coral snakes have yellow touching the red bands. Unfortunately, many of these beautiful snakes are often killed when people confuse them for their poisonous cousins. An adult Stuart milk snake can measure between 43 inches (109 cm) and 49 inches (124 cm) in length.
The natural habit of the Stuart's milk snake are dry tropical forests and along the Pacific shoreline. This species of milk snake makes its home in Northwestern Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
The unusual banded colors of the Stuart's milk snake help it stay camouflaged when hunting. When the snake moves, so do the bands, and in such a way as to confuse observation. Although active during the day, the Stuart’s milk snake are seldom seen unless found secretively hiding under logs and in crevices. The Stuart’s milk snake are also active at night and may meet their end when they encounter predators like raccoons, coyotes, owls, and skunks.
In addition to mice and rats, adult Stuart's milk snakes feed on frogs and small lizards. Milk snakes are known to be carnivorous and may eat each other and other snakes, too. Like the boa, that they are distantly related to, Stuart's milk snakes kill their pray by constriction (squeezing) and then swallow the meal. Newly hatched young milk snakes may feed on slugs, insects, and other small snakes until they are old enough to bring down larger prey.
Stuart's milk snakes hibernate with others of their species throughout the winter months. During that time, mating occurs. Later in the spring, the female lays elliptical-shaped eggs in warm beds of decaying leaf matter or moist rotting logs. The number of eggs can vary but are typically around ten in number. Like most snakes, female Stuart’s milk snakes do not linger to take care of their young. The newly hatched juveniles emerge from their eggs between 8 and 10 inches in length.
Because of their vibrant coloring and docile nature the Stuart's milk snakes make excellent pets and do well in captivity with the proper care. They get along quite nicely on a diet of a small mouse given about once or twice a week depending on the size and age of the snake. They are known to be determined creatures when it comes to escaping containment and will repeatedly test any weaknesses in their cage for routes of escape.
If one plans on keeping the Stuart’s milk snake colorful creatures, special attention must be given to their containment so they don't escape, and their temperature must be carefully monitored so they are neither too warm nor too cold. Otherwise, the brilliantly banded Stuart's milk snake is quite easy to care for and to keep.